Friday, June 17, 2011

30 Before 30

In the South (and yes, Oklahoma IS southern), women are bred to do two things: get married and have babies. If you are older than 25 and single, you're an old maid.

I've been told so on several occasions.

Hmmmm. I don't feel old; I'm dang sure not anybody's maid. And quite frankly, there's more to life than rings and bibs. I think we (read: ME) get so obsessed with what everyone else wants that we forget to discover what we want.

I just want to live life with no regrets.

Below, you will find a list of things I'd like to do before I hit the "dirty 30," a bucket list for my twenties. As of today, I have about a year and 3 1/2 months to get on it. Feel free to help if you can; if not, cheer me on from the sidelines.

And if the LOML (love of my life) or Sydney decides to show up during this journey....well....they better get in where they fit in!

30. Find my signature dish.

Church folks know you have to have a signature dish--you're go-to for all potlucks, baby showers and funerals. I've been flying under the radar thus far....but pretty soon, the ladies of UBC are going to figure out that napkins and cups don't really count.

29. Evaluate friendships and really let go of the toxic ones.

28. See the Pistons play in Detroit.
Now, one of y'all got the hookup. Sorry, but it's not like their games are sold-out every night! I just owe it to my team to support them on their home soil.

27. Learn how to drive a stick shift (for real this time).

26. Write a song.
I have a feeling it's going to come out sounding like Toni Braxton power ballad.

25. A visit to the East Coast (gotta see my Philly twin).

24. A visit to the West Coast (Kourtney promised me that In-N-Out burger).

23. Take a dance class
...something Latin.

22. Eat a sweet potato (I think they're disgusting, but I'll never really know unless I try).

21. Learn not to feel bad about saying no--even if you're only reason is because you want to go home, put on your PJs and read a book.

20. Read the Bible in its entirety.
I confess:I have my favorite passages. There are certain books and verses I keep going back to because of the way they make me feel. However, I'd like to go through the journey from the beginning and really see how it is all laid out....even the "such and so begat mama 'nem" section.

19. Accept criticism....
I was talking about this with a friend of mine who was surprised this is an issue for me. On the outside, I appear to take it well; but on the inside, I am HOT. I am learning to take criticism for what it is--medicine. Chewing Excedrin tables is gross, but my headache is gone in ten minutes or less.

18. ....not insults.
I have this really bad habit of internalizing insults, especially the passive-aggressive ones. And sometimes, I literally have to look in the mirror and tell myself: "I am NOT that person." And I mean it too. Either get with me or get left...

And I suppose you could get bent too.

17. Pay full price for something.
I came thisclose to dropping some major cash on two skirts I really wanted, but my cheapness just won't let me do it! I might need some Xanax before I attempt this one.

16. Lose control.
I pride myself on being "in control" at all times; but life is a roller coaster. If I know the restraints are on and working, I can fling my arms up in the air, scream at the top of my lungs and enjoy the ride.

15. Stop spending significant time on insignificant people.
Say it with me: the IGNORE feature on cell phones has got to be one of the greatest inventions in the 21st century.

14. Buy myself fresh flowers at least twice a month.
I have a bouquet of daisies sitting on my desk. Every times I look at the vibrant colors and smell their aroma, I smile. I need that simple pleasure in my life.

13. Pay off the rest of my credit card debt.
Kids, listen to me: buying up everything under the sun when you're in college sounds fun....until ten years later, when you're STILL paying for that meal at the Macaroni Grill.

12. Completely let go of one addiction.
Yes, there are many--I have an addictive personality. However, I just believe that if I can conquer one, I can conquer them all.

11. Run in some kind of competitive race.
5K, 10K, half-marathon....any or all of the above. I just need to prove to myself that I am so over the physical limitations of the extra weight I carried around for so many years.

I could also challenge a five-year-old to a race. That counts, right?

10. Learn to play the guitar.
I am the most musical non-musical person I've ever met in my life! I only want to play two songs--"Beautiful Surprise" by India Arie and "Chasing After You" by Tye Tribbett.

9. Change a tire.
I paid attention the last time I got a flat--I think I can do it this time!

8. Be comfortable without the Crackberry (or whatever cell phone).
I think this is different from an addiction--it is an obsession. That thing vibrates more than....well, I won't make that joke.

But it dictates my life--why should that be? It shouldn't. I remember when I used to turn off my cell phone for hours or days at a time, and I need to get back to that. Technology will not rule my life!

7. Skydiving.
Okay, hear me out on this: I don't really want to jump out of plane. I think I just want to do that indoor skydiving....'cause that's a lot closer to the ground!

6. Cultivate an adult wardrobe.
Make no mistake about it--K. Marie knows how to dress. Okay, my STYLIST (and I do have one) knows how to play up my strengths and downplay my weaknesses. To me, an adult wardrobe isn't much different than what I have now, but I do need some signature pieces:

--the power suit
--the LBD
--the "strut" shoes

Refer back to number 17.....whooooo, I'm feeling faint!

5.Bra measurements.
I have a real phobia of trying on clothes in general, but ESPECIALLY bras. I just grab what looks right and go. But as a woman--dang near 30 years old--I should probably find out exactly what size I am.


4.Drive faster.
Shayla will love that one.

3. Laugh harder.
IJBH, I was in a really bad mood a few hours ago. I was ready to just read someone the riot act, when someone sent me a YouTube link. It was eighteen seconds long, and I laughed so hard I cried. Just like that, I was calm again.

There are a million other ways to defuse a bad situation, but laughter works every time.

2. Write the freakin' book.
Okay, at this point, I'm even looking into plagiarism.

Seriously, I know there's a book in me. I feel the words, paragraphs and pages in my soul, However, I believe it is a process and I will allow this journey to move at its own pace.

I wonder how many people have read The Bluest Eye....I kid, I kid!

1. Every morning, I will look to the hills and expect the great.

I know how to expect the worst--that's easy. But expecting God to do everything He said He would do? Well, that takes faith.

I have faith.

Therefore, I expect the great.

Be Encouraged, y'all.

And to all of my friends who are turning 30 this year, HA HA!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I See The...."Dad" In You?

It's the week before Father's Day--and I am excited. I love taking time to honor the man who has been there for me since that unseasonably warm September day in 1982.

I'm not one to use cliched phrases, but my dad is my hero. I will love and respect him not just on Father's Day, but every day of the year.

*grabs tissue*

Back to the lecture at hand. I realize Father's Day is not always an "easy" holiday, because it makes us think--especially us sisters. We think not only about our fathers, but about the men in our lives; the men who could be the fathers of our children; but before then, our husbands.

Let the church say YEEEEEEEEEEEEEES......

A few years ago, I was conversing with a guy on the phone. Simple conversation--middle names, favorite food and books, etc. I mentioned something in passing about my father and homeboy got extremely quiet. I asked what was wrong and he told me: "Normally, I don't like to talk to women whose fathers have been active in their lives."

Y'all know this both piqued my interest and ticked me off. I had to ask why.

He went on to explain that women who grew up with their fathers are "spoiled and entitled, and no man will ever be good enough for them."

Clearly this man wasn't, but he brought up an interesting point....Biblical, even.

"A wife should put her husband first, as she does the Lord" (Ephesians 5:22).

(Note: I went with the Contemporary English Version strictly to prove a point--not to omit the word "submit," which was the basis of the legendary dad/daughter debate of 2003.

In case you're wondering, he won.)

As I mentioned earlier, my dad is my hero. My fingers would cramp up before I finished typing just a fraction of the wonderful things he has done for me. And I am spoiled--more so emotionally than through material possessions.

He was the first man who told me he loved me; he reminded me often that I was beautiful...even in the midst of my ugly duckling/Precious phase; he sacrificed his time (and sleep) just to help me work through some of the twenty-something crises I have experienced.

...And you mean to tell me there will come a day when I have to give all of that up...for GOOD?!?!?!?

Nope. Not at all.

Have you ever been to a wedding where someone tells the father of the bride: "You're not losing a daughter, you're gaining a son?" Same principle. It's not that I have to give up what I love about my father; rather, I should be seeking out those same characteristics in the man I intend to marry. And even in the midst of the pessimistic dating climate, I have met plenty of men who've got that certain something that just lets me know.....

Whether I am his good thing or not, he is going to be a good husband one day.

So, ladies, if you're father is in your life or was ever in your life, think about some of those GREAT qualities; the ones that made you stick out your chest with pride and say: "THAT'S MY DADDY!" Keep them in your mind and on your heart; remind yourself of those attributes, even when they don't come in the "right package."

Another blog, another time.

To my sister-friends whose fathers were not active in your lives, I pray (first and foremost)that God would heal that wounded place in your heart. Secondly, I pray that there is a man in your life--a grandfather, stepdad, uncle or pastor--who has some of those GOOD qualities with which you can identify.

And for all of us, no matter what our situation may be, there is Abba (our Heavenly Father). If you're looking for an example of what a good father should be, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Be encouraged.


Friday, June 3, 2011

The Summertime Pledge

Ladies (and gentlemen), please raise your right hand and repeat after me:

I promise:

--(Ladies)to make sure my toenails are painted. Even if I am late for work/church/school, I will gladly accept the consequences in order to fix that chipped big toe.

--to step out of my clothing comfort zone. I will wear colors I have never worn and styles I've never long as they are APPROPRIATE. Rompers? Not so much.

--to participate in (at least) one child-like activity. Amidst all the tragedies being discussed on CNN, they've left out one of the biggest--losing our childhood innocence.

Find it in a water balloon fight; a Tiger's Blood sno-cone; a game of Hide And Seek at the park; even an afternoon spent lying in the grass, blowing dandelion petals and thinking about absolutely nothing.

--to eat good barbecue. I also promise to tell the FABULOUS author of this blog about any barbecue within a 50-mile radius.

--to make sure the AC is running efficiently at ALL times. If not, thou shalt have the numbers of three good repairmen on speed dial.

--to take one road trip, even if it's just to the other side of town. I know, gas is expensive...and? 40 bucks in Appalonia reaps dividends to my stress levels and my soul. Open the sunroof, put on that good music, press the pedal all the way to the floor and GO.

--to laugh. Often. Until tears stream down my face and my stomach cramps up. Free, fun and so worth it.

--take lots of pictures....and not just to preserve your "I'm awesome" FB/Twitter image. Next February, when you're so cold you can't feel your calves, much less your toes, you can look back on those pictures and know summer is just around the corner.

--not obsess over "summer lovin.'" I know, I happened for John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. One of Mariah Carey's best songs is "Fourth of July," all about a summertime romance. Everybody is showing more skin; your hormones are raging; all your instincts are telling you it's time to couple up.

Slow your roll, homeskillets. The good news is there is no "magical season" where you're are destined to fall in love. If you haven't met the Love of Your Life by Labor Day, life goes on.

And if you've stayed true to the Summertime Pledge, you can look back with a smile on your face and say:

"Man...that was a good summer."

Here's to a groove slightly transformed.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Randomness on a Wednesday Night

--In the past week, I have eaten mayonnaise that is four months past the expiration date and milk eleven days past the expiration date.

Reason #212,534,987 why I do not have children.

--Why was I drinking milk anyway? I must have a death wish.

--I bought the BADDEST dress on Tuesday...right color, right style, just flawless. I get home, try it on and BAM--t-shirt length. I need to look for tags that say "totally appropriate for those of you with 4 feet of legs."

--A good friend of mine asked me to go to Frontier City on Saturday. To be honest, I am really excited. It's been more than a decade since the last time I rode the Silver Bullet!

--I just thought of a really good sex joke to accompany that last sentence, but I'll let my dear readers connect the dots.

--I finally get the allure of BBM--it's like a secret clubhouse! Of course, it would be ten times better if I could get my message tones to alert me when someone sends a message.

LOL 15 hours later just doesn't have the same effect.

--Someone asked me if I was morning person or a night owl. Neither. You don't want to talk to me before I've had a cup of coffee; God help you if you interrupt my dreams with a text.

But I'm cool in the afternoons! Or dusk. Yeah, call me a dusk owl.

Well....that's my time! You've been a beautiful audience! Thank you and goodnight!

Shutup, Shayla--this WAS funny.